Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I've always liked tigers. Partly because I am one (born in the year of the tiger, according to Chinese traditions. There's a 12 year cycle: my sister's a monkey, brother's a dragon (
very auspicious), Mom's a dog and Dad's a snake. We're a very interesting family!

My mom even had a dream about a tiger right before I was born, and I've always felt connected to the beautiful tiger.

However, little girl tigers did not always get the respect we deserve. There's a strong cultural bias (less so now) against girl tigers where I grew up, because supposedly they are headstrong, independent and hard to marry off. We even have a picture of baby me next to an orphanage in Singapore specifically for girls abandoned in the year of the tiger.
However, the Chinese zodiac animals held more cultural sway in Taiwan. For instance, my mother had literally the last bed in the hospital when she delivered my brother the dragon--everyone wanted to have a baby boy in that year.

See the blurb below:
The Gate of Hope
(taken from hyacinthus's blog: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=227971)

At this small gate of the former Convent of Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), many babies were abandoned in baskets to be picked by the Sisters of the Convent. This was the origin of the Home for Abandoned Babies.

For over 100 years, the orphanage was home to children from poor or broken families as well as unwanted babies. The orphanage took in many Chinese baby girls born in the year of tiger - "tiger girls" - because of the strong superstitious belief then, that they would bring bad luck to their families.

In 1988, the Mother Superior noted that this practice was stopped as there was a marked change in this superstitious belief.

Last edited by hyacinthus; August 26th, 2005 at 05:34 PM.

Sad, no? Now the building that this door is connected to (Chijmes) is a national heritage site, a gorgeous chapel that hosts everything from musicals to revival services. It was a little out of the way of where we lived in Singapore (as if anything was ever THAT far away!), but I went there a handful of times.

I've had, and am having, to sift through what to take and leave from all the different cultures in which I've lived. I don't want to hold on to negative beliefs, but also want to recognize how they've affected me. Also, I strongly believe that God redeems cultures.

SO I like that the tiger has incredible strength, but has no desire to show off. She's very protective of those she loves, and nurtures her cubs. She's also a deadly dangerous hunter. Knows how to relax. Lazily graceful, powerfully beautiful.

Good traits. I'm ok being a tiger. Still not my favorite animal, but a very good one. :) Nice job, God. And aren't tiger cubs absolutely adorable? I can't wait to cuddle one in heaven. Yes, I do believe there'll be animals in heaven.

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